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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COLO2600 Advances in Colour and Polymer Sciences

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Natalia Sergeeva

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Modules in organic synthesis at level 1 or equivalent.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the areas of colour and polymer chemistry, introducing new concepts and applications within both fields that are of scientific and commercial significance. The first part of the module will provide a comprehensive guide to the concept of colour as a physical and visual phenomenon underlying principles of colour theory. The concept of functional dyes will be introduced and comparison will be made to conventional dyes. Synthesis and chemistry of the relevant functional materials will be explored giving the examples of natural and man-made chromic and photoactive materials. Finally, scientific and industrial applications of coloured materials in material science, biology and medicine will be revealed. The second part of the module will provide a comprehensive guide to commercial polymer chemistry, introducing the concepts of ionic polymerisations and metal-catalysed polymerisations. In addition, polymers that are utilised as textiles will be detailed to provide an explicit link between colour and polymer chemistry. The concept of controlled polymerisation will be briefly introduced as a preface to the use of polymers within contemporary biomaterials. Finally, the scientific and commercial importance of natural polymers will be explored with emphasis on the exploitation of natural polymers in commercial products.


The module aims to expand upon introductory content provided in COLO1200 to emphasise the importance of colour and polymer science, both as substantial disciplines within current academic research, and as industrially-important subject matters.

The colour science aspect of the module will commence with an introduction of colour as a visual and physical phenomenon including the general concepts relating to the description and detection of colour as a physical process. Chemistry and synthesis of the certain coloured molecules will be explained emphasising on functional dyes. Finally, conventional and novel applications of colour materials will be explored, with an emphasis on functional dyes and those used in (industrial) chemistry, material science and medicine.

The polymer content of the module will provide details of the processes used to make polymeric materials that take the form of commodity products and highly-specialised high value products, thus providing an insight into the varied nature of polymer chemistry. Theoretical details of polymerisations will be explained to demonstrate the available methods that may be utilised to produce polymers. The module will emphasise the importance of natural polymers within commercial products, and as the subject of academic research. Finally, the subject of biomaterials will be introduced to demonstrate the relevance of polymers in the research of high-value materials.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will possess:
(1) An appreciation of the nature of colour as a visual and physical phenomenon.
(2) An understanding of the general concepts relating to the creation, description and reproduction of colour.
(3) Chemical aspects of the coloured materials including their synthesis and chemistry.
(4) Comprehensive knowledge of the application of coloured materials to both conventional and novel application areas.
(5) An understanding of commercially-important polymerisation techniques including ionic polymerisation and metal-catalysed polymerisation.
(6) Comprehensive knowledge of the use of polymers in the creation of textiles.
(7) Knowledge relating to the use of polymers in contemporary biomaterials.
(8) An appreciation of natural polymers, and how they may be exploited for use in commercial products.


(1) Colour, light and matter – physical phenomenon
(2) Creation of colour by absorption, scattering, interference and luminescence
(3) Synthesis and chemistry of dyes including functional dyes
(4) Novel applications of colorants and coloured materials
(5) The concept and industrial importance of Ionic polymerisations
(6) Ziegler-Natta polymerisation and application
(7) Metallocene polymerisation and application
(8) The use of polymers within biomaterials
(9) Natural polymers and their use within commercial products

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Independent online learning hours6.00
Private study hours70.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

The students will complete two assessed problem sheets (3 hr each, 6 hrs in total)

A further 4 non-assessed problem sheets will be provided for the students to complete (3 hr each, 12 hrs in total).
Solutions to the assessed and practise problem sheets will be made available online, accompanied by video commentary of the solutions by the lectures (desktop capture). The students will also be provided with online videos and website resources to explore from the VLE (6 hrs independent online learning)

Further study of lecture material, including reading relevant accompanying material in books on the module reading list as directed by the lecturers. (2 hrs per lecture, 40 hrs in total)
Exam revision, including practice of ‘typical’ exam questions. (12 hr)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Problem SheetProblem sheet 110.00
Problem SheetProblem sheet 210.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/11/2019 08:50:04


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